How to use long-form storytelling in your marketing strategy
The key to success in the world of Digital Marketing is offering qualified experiences to the consumer.
By qualified, we refer to the authenticity, relevance, and customization of the content your brand publishes in different digital channels. All of this involves an understanding of the user’s preferences.
To attract and nourish leads, enabling financial return, a marketing strategy must be able to engage them.
More than reading about your products, the customer wants to know more about your company and other related issues. If the work is well done, your channels’ authority is enhanced.
Storytelling appears as a fundamental instrument to engage the leads in a narrative and direct them to the bottom of the funnel. Still, you need to know how to apply this technique effectively.
Recently, for example, the trend is to use long-form storytelling. In this text, we will discuss:
- What is long-form storytelling?
- Why are brands using this strategy?
- How can you apply long-form storytelling in your company?
What is long-form storytelling?
When we talk about long-form storytelling, it is clear that we are referring to a more extensive content format.
For example, in the context of blog posts, articles of over 1.200 words fall into this category.
However, it is not enough to focus on the length of the content.
In order to fit the idea of storytelling, the material must, of course, tell a story. The goal is to capture the user’s attention, something increasingly challenging amid so many possible distractions.
Besides attracting, it is necessary to retain the client’s interest, which requires a consistent narrative within the storytelling standards.
In addition to being extensive, your content, to fit as long-form storytelling, must follow a narrative arc.
In other words, one must work with a premise and a plot, developing a structure with a beginning, middle, and end.
Why are brands using this strategy?
We live in a society dominated by consumer habits that value agility and efficiency.
This applies not only to the purchase process of products and services but also to the information and content people consume daily.
Think, for example, of Twitter, a social network based on a microblog format that is extremely popular for both entertainment and business. Its most distinctive feature is the restriction of characters: only 280 per post.
In the same way, several blogs specialize in short content to offer the reader a quick experience.
We can observe the same movement on Instagram stories, videos on Youtube, and Facebook posts.
So, is it wrong to invest in short content? Not at all.
What companies have been realizing is the need to complement their strategies with long-form storytelling. The main reason for this is the possibility to enhance the consumer’s learning process.
With more extensive texts, it is possible to develop more complex subjects.
In this way, what you mentioned in a Twitter post, can become the theme of an ebook unraveling the most critical elements. This makes it easier for the consumer to understand and, more importantly, establishes your brand as a thought leader.
The concept of thought leadership refers to the company’s ability to position itself as a reference in the market, directly influencing consumers’ decisions.
This is possible through unique content, whose value must be recognized by users.
By reaching the level of thought leader, the brand becomes a reliable source of insights for the audience, which will create the habit of consuming content from the company’s channels. From there, it’s up to the marketing and sales teams to join forces and drive the leads to the bottom of the funnel.
In addition to increasing sales, the thought leader position also helps your brand create strong relationships with customers, enabling the generation of brand advocates.
The SEO factor
It’s impossible to talk about Digital Marketing without mentioning SEO techniques. They are very useful to position your channels at the top of SERPs and to do so, they have to meet several criteria. Long-form storytelling can facilitate this process.
That’s what this study, which looked into the top 10 Google search results consisting of hundreds of words, indicates.
Now, remember when we said that content is considered long-form when it passes 1,200 words? Well, the average word count of Google’s top 10 is over 2,000 words.
How can you apply long-form storytelling in your company?
Now that you understand what long-form storytelling is let’s focus on its practical application in your company. Keep up!
Tell a story
You have to be careful so that your long-form content is not just an extensive document, but something that really tells a story. So, first of all, define what message you want to convey to the audience.
At this point, it is very important to know your buyer persona’s characteristics to explore the triggers that can keep them engaged in the content.
The structure should always include a beginning, middle, and end, but it is worth using creativity to make the experience more ludic and interesting.
Focus on creating quality contents
We repeat: size means nothing if it is not accompanied by quality. So don’t push it. If you notice that the message you want to get across fits in less than 1000 words, don’t hesitate to publish a shorter content.
If the readers notice that you are adding words just to increase the volume of the writing, they will ultimately lose interest.
Use visual resources
Long-form storytelling represents an excellent opportunity for you to show everything your company can offer.
Don’t hesitate to add resources to enrich your content, which may make your storytelling easier. Visuals, such as charts and graphs, are excellent for engaging the user.
However, these resources must be implemented with excellence to ensure a clean and efficient experience.
That’s why it’s essential to work with specialized designers and tools. Also, you should develop a data storytelling culture in your company.
Keep track of feedback
Finally, as with any other strategy, keep an eye on the feedback left by consumers. These insights can be captured either directly, as in published comments, or indirectly, from the data analysis and cross-referencing.
The important thing is to identify which elements are related to the best results and, from that, take steps for your strategy to go on a continuous optimization course.
Long-form storytelling is a very interesting tool to increase your content’s engagement rate and positively impact your Digital Marketing strategy.
Develop consistent narratives, explore buyer persona’s characteristics, and establish your brand as a market thought leader.
And if you’re looking for more clear examples of how brands can use long-form storytelling in their Content Marketing strategies, read our article!